I know I am not alone in worrying about the sagging skin that comes as we age.
I started noticing it at 40 but felt helpless to do anything about it.
Hence, I haven’t done anything about it, and it’s only gotten worse and more disconcerting.
Interestingly there’s a strong connection between maintaining strong facial bones and our sagging facial skin.
Plastic surgeon Howard Langstein noticed that people got facelifts to look more youthful, only to look “windswept.”
In 2010, he performed a study to determine why this was occurring.
Using CT scans on skulls to see what was happening beneath the skin, fascia and muscle tissue that he worked with, he concluded that shrinking bone density was causing sagging skin just as much as the fibers in the skin.
As I wrote in my blog on osteoporosis, we can do something to combat the declining bone density.
I no longer accept that decreased bone density is just a matter of aging and that I am a victim of that aging process.
The signal for maintaining bone density in the face is mechanical.
Good nutrition is important. I have dozens of blogs confirming this.
But we must be putting proper pressure on our bones as well.
The signal for bones to grow starts with a cell being squished within the bone. Without that squish, the nutrients that support bone growth can’t do their job. Your body can’t utilize the nutrients (even if they’re there) without the proper signal.
In the case of the maxilla and the mandible (the bones that house our teeth), we have to put pressure against the teeth.
When you push against your teeth, the teeth push against the bone. This causes the desired signal/squish needed for bone regeneration.
There are two ways to achieve this.
You can push on your teeth all day. OR you can chew your food.
Think about it. So much of our modern diet is meant to be “wolfed or gulped down.” That’s two strikes against us.
We need to be chewing firm foods in order to maintain proper bone density and help avert sagging facial skin. And we need to chew our food for proper digestion…which is essential to overall health.
Actually, if we lean toward the standard American diet (or SAD diet), that’s three strikes against us because the SAD diet consists of highly refined, denatured foods, which have been stripped of their minerals and other nutrients.
Many foods are so deplete in nutrients that they require our bodies’ stored minerals (primarily from our bones) to metabolize them.
Let’s not get struck out.
Instead, let’s take these three steps:
One. Start by chewing your food, whatever it is. You must chew even if it’s a smoothie. In addition to the mechanical breakdown of food, chewing also starts the chemical breakdown of food. It’s crucial that the saliva mixes with our food to begin this chemical breakdown before it passes to the stomach. Once it reaches the stomach it’s too late. The acid in the stomach will deactivate the saliva. Certain foods (especially carbohydrates) will never get broken down properly.
Thus, begins the slow deterioration of our digestive system. Food sits and festers in our stomach and small intestines. Over time our stomach cannot produce the proper stomach acid and enzymes needed to break food down. It functions less and less optimally, and we can get overgrowth of yeasts and unwanted bacteria.
As well, over time, the lining of our small intestine becomes porosis, and we develop gut permeability (also known as, leaky gut).
This in turn leads to many, if not all, of our myriad of diseases – osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, difficulty losing or gaining weight, auto-immune issues, cardio-vascular issues, geographic tongue, allergic conditions (particularly hay fever, acne, asthma and eczema), diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dementia and even cancer.
Two. This actually is the main point of this blog. Make sure you have at least one meal a day in which you have to chew something hard.
Crisp apples and raw veggies are ideal for this. Think about carrots, radishes, celery,…
Do what I do. Gnarl your meat bones to get every little bit off them. Do the same with your chicken bones but also try crushing them with your teeth to open them and get all the marrow. Just be careful not to break your teeth. I take no responsibility for broken teeth.
Likewise, remember the chewy parts of the meat. Make sure you are spending time on those bits and not simply discarding them as too tough to eat.
[Please don’t’ get me wrong. I am not knocking foods that are naturally soft or made soft through cooking, nor smoothies nor creamed soups. These can be super nutrient dense and a necessary part of our diet. But alone they could be damaging to the bone because they do not help with bone regeneration.]
Three. Get off the SAD diet and start eating REAL food. Read my past blog posts. There is a plethora of information on what REAL food is and why it’s best for us. Start here: Anything on the Shelf Is Poison Until Proven Otherwise
Book a free 30-Minute Discovery call. Let’s determine where you are on the spectrum of eating REAL food and how you can move in a direction that will meet your fitness goals.
- Your weight and body image goals
- Your goals to sit on the floor with your grandkids and read books, work puzzles or build Legos
- Your desire for energy to be involved in ministry
- Your desire for energy and agility to go for walks, swim, play pickleball, keep practicing the violin, …
* * * * * * * * * *
I recognize there are other contributing factors to sagging skin and marred facial appearance. One being the removal of our wisdom teeth.
Until hearing a lecture by Dean Howell, ND, I had never noticed that when people have their wisdom teeth extracted (myself included), there is almost always a facial collapse.
Do you remember the TV show “Bewitched?” Look at what happened to Gladys Kravitz after having her wisdom teeth removed.
Her chin “disappeared.” And it’s not just the chin that can weaken but also the cheek bones can “disappear.”
Sadly, we most likely could have avoided having our wisdom teeth extracted and the accompanying facial change. But we weren’t given options, such as palate widening. And we weren’t told all the risks and benefits of extracting versus not extracting.
And it’s not just the facial collapse that results from extractions, but a whole host of other conditions, including chronic pain in areas of the head, depression, fatigue, brain fog, laziness, anxieties, phobias, OCD, leaning difficulties, hyperactivity, and dyslexia.
We can’t undo what’s been done in this case.
But let’s take control of what we can by following the three steps listed above.
Enjoy and be well.
Peace and grace,
P.S. Two additional ways to maintain healthy skin.
First and foremost, we need to be consuming lots of good healthy fats.
Second, if we still need to use a topical moisturizer, we should use edible fats – tallow, lard, coconut oil, extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil, and other cold-pressed natural oils.
 Bowman K 2016. Alignment Matters. Propriometrics Press
 Campbell McBride, N 2010. Gut & Psychology Syndrome. Medinform Publishing
 Campbell McBride, N Gut and Physiology Syndrome. Medinform Publishing. p.382